Makeup . Makeup is universal and has its origins in ancient times where it was done in different ways and with different materials but with the same purpose, that of being more attractive and improving the external appearance.


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  • 1 Origins and History
    • 1 Greece and Rome
    • 2 Mesopotamia
    • 3 Rome
    • 4 Arabia
    • 5 Middle Ages
    • 6 Court of France
    • 7 Mid-19th century
    • 8 20th century
  • 2 Changes in makeup trends
  • 3 Modern makeup
  • 4 Sources

Origins and History

egyptian woman

To make up their eyes , Egyptian women used powdered minerals and clay to color their lips. When putting on makeup, the eyes stood out above all with strong colors: the eyelids painted it with lively shades of blue or green, which they obtained by mixing earth , ash and ink .

They were also the ones who started the fashion to paint their lips, with a tint made up of Red Ocher and natural Iron Oxide that they spread with a brush or toothpick. They also decorated the nails and palms of the hands with a powder extracted from the bark and leaves of the henna tree.

In Egyptian culture, scented oils were used to keep human skin supple and smooth in the dry climate where they lived, soap for cleaning or ritual baths, and depilatories to remove hair that for religious reasons was considered impure. Scented ointment vases have been found in Egyptian tombs.

Greece and Rome

In ancient times, Greeks and Romans perfected makeup techniques. The skin gains weight, which they begin to apply make-up to whiten by means of a mixture made from plaster, bean flour, chalk and white lead (classic lead carbonate), which in the end obtained completely contrary to the intended results, since when Contact with the sun darkened the face.

It is at this stage where we find the creation of the famous and current mascara. It is curious to discover how it was in its beginnings, since they managed to blacken their eyelashes using a mixture of ant eggs and crushed flies .

The tendency is to have very white skin as a sign of passion, for this they ingested a large amount of cumin and whitened the skin with white lead and white lead. In the eyes they used the khöl, applying makeup in black and blue .

The eyebrows were outlined without lengthening and plucked with tweezers and the lips and cheekbones were colored in bright red.

In addition to khöl, many beauty care such as baths and massages were inherited from the Egyptians.

The male figure curls his hair and beard and has shaved legs.

The real make-up boom came at the court in France where they whitened their faces with powder and a brilliant, sulfur- based pearlescent cream .


As in Greece they wore bleached skin and reddened cheekbones, lapis lazuli eyes and black-tinted eyebrows.

The women wore their hair loose and curly at the shoulders, and the men curled their beards and hair, leaving geometric curls at the end. The abundance of hair meant strength and courage and was sprinkled with gold powder on both the beard and the hair.


The skin was whitish, the eyes and eyebrows wore khöl and the eyelids were heavily marked with antimony and turquoise. Lips and cheeks marked in bright red.

Influenced by the refined customs of Egypt and Greece, public baths and massages begin to function. They used creams for body care. The women of the time (called patricias) had maids who were the ones who dedicated themselves to doing these aesthetic tasks.

They spent a lot of time on hairstyles, they were very laborious, they dyed their hair with blonde preparations and exposed them to the sun to transform the color. Eyelashes were also made by weaving them with silk or natural hair.


Women spent long hours beautifying, living in harems where they cared for themselves with perfumed baths, oils and massages. They applied Khöl on the eyes to enlarge them and they used rouge and a lot of perfumes. They had their faces covered with veils and their hair covered with silks.

So much care was due to the inferiority they had with the man, it was a way of seducing him.

Middle Ages

After the fall of the Empire, in the first decades there is a total absence of both aesthetic care and personal hygiene. The woman was wearing a headdress covered in submission.

Egyptian Makeup

After some time the interest in cosmetics began again due to the Arab influence. The suits were modified with generous necklines and long braids were made in the hair that became true works of art.

Court of france

The true heyday of makeup is found in the court of France , where faces were bleached with powders and a brilliant pearly sulfur-based cream that had caused deadly poisonings.

At the beginning of the 19th century , the first attempt to eliminate wrinkles arose based on a mortifying invention called “face enameling”, which consisted of first washing the face with an alkaline liquid, then spreading a paste to fill it wrinkles and a layer of enamel made with arsenic and lead was placed on top , which lasted about a year.

If the mask was very thick, it would crack at the slightest movement and, of course, it was most insane and uncomfortable to wear.

Mid-19th century

The time of the mid-nineteenth century, marks the beginning of modern makeup, at this time lipstick appears for the first time, specifically in the year 1880 , which consisted of an ointment made of fresh butter, beeswax, roots of a natural coloring (orcaneta) and bunches of black grapes without pulp that color without producing side effects.

Twentieth century

Since then until today, cosmetics has turned 180 degrees and we find an immense market dedicated especially to women and improving their image with all kinds of products made in an industrial way.

Changes in makeup trends

Although the tones that were used on the lips were not very strong, if stronger colors were used in the eyes. Much importance was also attached to eyeliner and mascara .

  • In the 1970s , makeup became more natural, with bold and bold colors a little aside.

In the 1980s , makeup became much more eye-catching, colors were increased to a much wider palette of eye shadows. Very strong colors begin to be used in the eyes.

  • During the 1990s , makeup was simplified again. Women have less and less time and therefore seek to use much simpler and more practical makeup.

Modern makeup


Modern makeup is attributed to the second half of the 19th century .

Makeup is used in the XXI century as well as throughout its history, as an attraction to enhance the most beautiful features of the face and hide or reduce the less graceful. The use of cosmetics and perfumes is not limited to women, there are preparations for men such as colognes, after-shave lotions, facial creams, toners and hair dyes and deodorants, among others.

In events such as theater , television or cinema , makeup has an important place; faces are painted with elaborate colors to achieve images that may be exaggerated; They distort facial features to highlight and reinforce features that could be lost in light or distance, and alter the appearance of age, skin tone, or nose shape.

Cosmetics improve the image, it is a search for attraction and beauty, a reality currently based on scientific rigors. Since then until today it has taken a great turn, it has grown along with the study of the ingredients used in its preparation. Skin cleaning is essential in makeup to preserve the skin, that is why every woman needs to learn how to make up, remove makeup from her face.

This industry has a great development, thanks to the immense demand for its products worldwide


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